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reached at least not yet. >> we had a constructive meeting today. senators reid and mcconnell are discussing a potential agreement where we can get a bipartisan bill out of the senate over to the house and done in a timely fashion. >> reporter: the senate is in session today and is expected to return on sunday along with the house. >> we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommendation. >> reporter: but time is clearly running out for congress. st. mary's college political professor steven wol fert says the senate needs to introduce something today or they will likely not make the deadline. >> the deadline is so short and the amount of time necessary to go through the procedural steps to approve legislation are so numerous that they are right up against the very limit of the minimum amount of time necessary to pass it. >> reporter: the professor points out that neither side can risk giving in for fear of losing in the next election. ee -- each side is waitin
, the president called congressional leaders nancy pelosi, john boehner, mitch mcconnell and harry reid to reach agreements before tax hikes and spending cuts kick in january 1. >> we have been asking the president and the democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> reporter: the senate majority leader wants house republicans to return from their vacations to approve a democratic senate plan that extends tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year. >> that's the only option that is viable escape route. >> reporter: but republican leaders say it's up to democrats who control the senate and white house to avert the "fiscal cliff." >> republicans aren't about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward just because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> reporter: house members will return to capitol hill on sunday and could begin voting that night. they would have about 24 hours to approve a deal. adding to the urgency, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned congress that the nation's
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